Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Dispersion of Economic Power within the U.S.

This can be reflected in the number of Fortune Global 500 companies that exist in the top city/the total number of Fortune Global 500 companies within the country.

The United States has 139 of the Fortune Global 500 companies
And New York City has the largest amount within the U.S, with 19 - or 13.6 %

Compare this with China , who has 46 Fortune Global 500 companies, 30 of which are headquartered in Beijing - 65.2 %

or Japan, who has 71, with 46 headquartered in Tokyo - 64.8 %

or France, who has 39, with 25 headquartered in Paris - 64.1 %

or the United Kingdom, who has 29, with 18 headquartered in London - 62.1%

(but Germany is different, with 37, 6 in Munich - 16.2 %)

All of this is a long way of saying the U.S. is a very decentralized country when it comes to economic and therefore political power. It of course was designed this way by the Founders, primarily to prevent a Casear style popular dictatorship from usurping the ruling class. They knew their Roman history.


The Arthurian said...

Interesting numbers. Did you devise this approach?

Funny, I was thinking about Rome too, before I got to your last paragraph. But Rome after the fall, when all those villas sprang up. Villages. Every villa the little-Rome of some billionaire.

Decentralized concentration of wealth isn't the same as dispersion of wealth.

Purple said...

Yes I devised it, just something I noticed one time.

I suspect Germany's similarity comes from its recent entry into nation state status, and long history of fiefdoms.

I think it would be hard for the US to move into dictatorship because there are so many geographic power bases, but not impossible. The military is the only credible (in the eyes of the general population) national institution left.

Anonymous said...

From my experience, it's simply because almost all US cities have good infrastructure that connects them to other cities in the US and abroad. So, the cause is prosperity. Also, Europe should be looked as a whole rather than as separate countries. Then the comparison will be more reasonable. Finally, only limiting the count to the Fortune Global companies would lead to undercounting of comparable firms in China (another comparable large country).
Good observation. This is something I have discussed before with my friends and our feeling was that it's because the infrastructure is so good in most cities in the US.